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Thread: Is my 11 wk old on a nursing strike?

  1. #1

    Default Is my 11 wk old on a nursing strike?

    Hi everyone! I searched but couldn't find anyone with a similar experience. My 11 wk old son, Harry, is only nursing for 5-7 minutes, and then stopping. If I try to relatch him, he screams even though I can tell he is still hungry. It started on Tuesday with the right breast (he has always had latch problems on the right side), but by Wednesday, it was the same thing with both breasts. He will only latch and feed again when sleepy, but then he only feeds for a few minutes before passing out. And his empty tummy is now causing sleep problems - he was awake for a 7 hr stretch today before taking a nap longer than 5 minutes.

    I went to a breastfeeding clinic to test how much Harry was getting in those 5-7 min stretches, and it is only around 2 ozs. I can tell my production has gone down because of these short nursing sessions, so I just started pumping 2x day to keep up my production.

    The only thing I can think caused this is stress - my husband lost his job on Wednesday and it has been days of worry about our financial situation. He isn't acting sick at all and doesn't have a temperature.

    How can I bring Harry back to the breast? Today I wore him in the Bjorn much of the day and cuddled him bare breasted. I'm not sure what else to do, but the whole thing is very upsetting. Do I try to nurse him often? Or do I just let him go 2 hours, and try when he is ready for a nap?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,326

    Default Re: Is my 11 wk old on a nursing strike?

    A nursing strike means out and out breast refusal. And it is very uncommon at such a young age. So it's not a nursing strike. That said, many of the ideas for handling a nursing strike are helpful anytime a baby is not wanting to nurse. But if I am reading your post correctly, your feel the issue is length of feeds rather than baby not wanting to nurse at all?

    I went to a breastfeeding clinic to test how much Harry was getting in those 5-7 min stretches, and it is only around 2 ozs
    with before and after weight checks, 2 ounces is the amount you want to see after a baby is 2 weeks old (before then it may be much less) so that sounds about right for a single feed. Maybe a tad low for a 11 weeks old, I am not sure, but certainly he is transfering milk very well if he is getting that much in 5 minutes! How much did the LC at the clinic think your baby should be taking in a single feed? Also remember before and after weight checks are like a snapshot of that single nursing session. So the info from a single before and after weight check is very limited.

    Do I try to nurse him often?
    this would be my first idea, nursing more frequently solves many nursing issues. But don't force it, if you know what I mean. The idea is to entice baby to nurse, not pressure baby to nurse. Nursing when baby is sleepy or asleep is a good start with these kinds of issues. Meanwhile, monitor babies output for changes there. That will tell you much more about if your baby is getting enough. This article has many good ideas for gently encouraging a baby to nurse: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    IS forceful letdown a possibility? look at this article: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    It started on Tuesday with the right breast (he has always had latch problems on the right side), but by Wednesday, it was the same thing with both breasts.
    At the clinic can they not help you with this? Why is an 11 week old still having latch isues? Do you have pain, or does he just have a hard time getting on? What have you tried for this?

    So sorry about your husband's job. That is so hard. Try not to let this situation with your baby add to your stress, it is totally premature to think this is stress related low milk supply, or low milk supply at all. Babies have nursing issues for many reasons and it is much more common for it to be oversupply rather than undersupply.

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